• State Route 6 intersection safety project in Panola County


    The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) this month will construct a new J-turn intersection on State Route 6 in Panola County.

    The safety improvement will be built where Terza and Lawrence Brothers roads cross the highway east of Batesville.

    J-turns, or restricted crossing U-turns, are safer alternatives to typical intersections along busy multi-lane highways. J-Turns can dramatically reduce crashes related to crossing and turning left at multi-lane highway intersections.

    “MDOT has installed numerous J-turns across the state,” said Commissioner Mike Tagert, Northern Transportation District. “Several have been in service long enough to produce before and after crash data that shows an overall crash reduction of 74 to 92 percent.”

    From 2013 to 2018, there were 21 crashes at the State Route 6 intersection which resulted in three fatalities and 20 injuries. In August 2018, MDOT installed larger stop signs and warning signs mounted on reflective posts. Rumble strips were also added to Terza and Lawrence Brother roads to alert motorists about the upcoming stop. However, four crashes occurred after the improvements.

    To make the intersection safer, MDOT engineers determined a J-turn would be the best improvement. J-turns prevent motorists from crossing directly over an intersection, which reduces potential conflict points. At the intersection on State Route 6, a J-turn would have prevented crossing maneuvers involved in 17 of the 21 crashes, including the fatalities.

    To navigate a J-turn, motorists who want to cross or turn left on State Route 6 must first turn right onto the highway and then merge to a left turn lane. After completing a U-turn, motorists travel back to the intersection and either continue straight or turn right to exit the highway.

    “Safety is MDOT’s top priority,” Tagert said. “J-turns significantly reduce the number of fatal and serious injury crashes by lowering the possibility of T-bone crashes.”

    MDOT plans to construct the intersection on March 19. The work is expected to be completed in one day.

    Motorists should use caution as traffic adjusts to the new crossing pattern. Advance warning signs will be in place.

    For more information about this project, and all MDOT maintenance and construction projects, visit MDOTtraffic.com or follow @MississippiDOT on Twitter.

    For more information about J-turns, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.

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